Two drug firms fined £260m for swindling NHS over ‘life-saving drugs’

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Two pharmaceutical firms had been fined greater than £260m through the United Kingdom’s pageant watchdog after the pair colluded to overcharge the NHS for just about a decade.

Drugmakers Auden McKenzie and Accord UK, previously referred to as Actavis UK, charged the NHS excessively top costs for hydrocortisone drugs, costing the taxpayer loads of thousands and thousands of kilos, in keeping with the Pageant and Markets Authority (CMA).

Hydrocortisone is used to regard irritation and inflammation, regularly in other people whose our bodies don’t produce sufficient cortisol.

The 2 firms hiked the cost of a unmarried pack of drugs from 70p in 2008, to £88 in 2016, expanding the price of the drug through greater than 10,000%.

“Those had been egregious breaches of the regulation that artificially inflated the prices dealing with the NHS, lowering the cash to be had for affected person care,” the CMA mentioned.

The regulator added that those had been “one of the vital maximum critical abuses we have now exposed lately”, giving the NHS “no selection however to pay large sums of taxpayers’ cash for life-saving drugs”.

Auden McKenzie paid off its opponents in a bid to deter them from bringing out their very own variations of the drug, permitting the corporate to retain a monopoly on manufacturing, the CMA mentioned.

“To give protection to its place as the only supplier of the drugs, and allow it to proceed to extend costs, Auden McKenzie additionally paid off would-be competition AMCo (now referred to as Advanz Pharma) and Waymade to stick out of the marketplace,” the watchdog mentioned.

After Auden McKenzie stopped promoting the drug, investigators on the CMA discovered that Actavis UK persevered to repay AMCo after taking on the sale of the drugs in 2015.

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